Top Miami Neighborhoods Ranked for Public Transportation
Jun 19, 2019 June 19, 2019
Whether you dream of going carless or simply want to get around town without endless hours of driving, a great public transportation system can truly be a blessing. Not only does it take the stress off your daily commute, but also helps the environment. This is exactly why the City of Miami has an elaborate public transit system. (Frankly it is not yet on par with major world-class transportation systems out there, but it is a work in progress and improving).
Getting around Miami mainland is made easier by the Metrobus, Metromover, Metrorail, Tri-rail and Trolley systems. These transit options don’t just string together the mainland, but also link to the beaches and help whisk you to other parts of South Florida (and beyond) as well. The Metrorail and Metromover offer direct connections to the Brightline, which happens to be the only private intercity passenger train service in the country. Currently, it takes passengers from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in 30 minutes and to West Palm Beach in 60 minutes. Future expansion plans involve a stop in Orlando, which will take about three hours to reach from the MiamiCentral Station. There are also talks of an expansion to Tampa, as the familiar yellow of the Brightline gets rebranded into the scarlet red of Virgin Trains USA this year
To give you a clear idea of how the public transportation system in Miami is panned out, we’ve ranked Greater Downtown Miami and its surrounding neighborhoods from average to best served. All scores have been sourced from walkscore.com. To arrive at the most accurate scores for residents, we’ve picked the most centrally located condo building in each neighborhood to power our search. If you are interested in Miami Beach, we also have public transit rankings by neighborhood for Miami Beach.
10. Coconut Grove
(From Grove at Grand Bay)
Public transit score – 50
Coconut Grove - Photo credit: Miamiandbeaches.com
Coconut Grove comes sprinkled with some of the finest tropical foliage and views, making it compensate for having the lowest transit score on our list. With an average transit score of 50, this vibrant neighborhood connects to Brickell and other neighborhoods as far as Little Haiti and Flagami via the Miami Trolley. There are also multiple stops on the Metrobus route that help connect it to far off spots such as Hialeah and 163 Street Mall up north. Even the Metrorail runs through Coconut Grove if you are closer to US1, giving you connections to the Tri-Rail and rest of South Florida via the green line and Miami International Airport via the orange line.
Map of Metrorail stations connecting you to the Tri-rail.
9. East Edgewater - Edgewater
(From Biscayne Beach)
Public transit score – 52
East Edgewater is the quieter, more residential part of the downtown area. (We’ve considered everything south of NE 30th Terrace to NE 23rd Street east of Biscayne Blvd as East Edgewater for this study.) The main reason why it has a lower transit score on our report is that it only features one stop for the Miami Trolley and then multiples along the Metrobus route.
Miami Metrobus - Photo credit: Miamiaeropuerto.com
Residents can take the Metrobus as far as the Aventura, Dolphin Mall, Downtown or the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station and get access to the beaches. Even though the Metrobus provides ample connections to a variety of public transportation options waiting further Downtown, a lack of direct access is what makes East Edgewater rank lower.
8. Paraiso District – Edgewater
(From Paraiso Bayviews)
Public transit score – 54
This northern edge of Edgewater ranks a little higher in terms of public transit due to its access to the Miami Trolley, multiple Metrobus stops and walking distance to the slightly better-connected Midtown. (We’ve considered everything north of NE 30th Terrace to I-95 as the Paraiso district of Edgewater.)
Miami Trolley - Photo credit: City of Miami
The Metrobus takes residents as far as Aventura, Dolphin Mall and Downtown. Again, just like East Edgewater residents need to catch a connection to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station to get across town, or a connection to Downtown for direct access to the Tri-Rail and Miami International Airport via the Metrorail.
(From Midtown 4)
Public transit score – 55
Midtown is best known for its trendy Shops at Midtown and comes in with a slightly above average transit score as it lies directly on the Biscayne route of the Miami Trolley. The trolley provides connections all the way to Little Haiti, Allapattah, Flagami, Brickell Key and Coconut Grove. There are multiple Metrobus stops, especially along NE 36th Street that provide access to Aventura, 163 Street Mall, Little Haiti and Miami Beach.
Again, residents will need to get to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station for more access around town or Downtown for the whole gamut of public transit systems servicing the City of Miami.
(From Wynwood 25)
Public transit score – 61
Graffiti Wall (Wynwood) - Photo credit: Miamiandbeaches.com
This artsy district gets a bump up from its compact neighbor (Midtown) due to direct services from the Miami Trolley on its Wynwood route. Residents get easy access to Coconut Grove, Coral Way, Brickell Key, Little Havana, Dodge Island, Allapattah and Little Haiti in addition to several stops around town. Multiple stops of the Metrobus along NW 2nd Avenue and NW 20th Street easily whisk people off to Miami Gardens and Downtown. However, to access the Metromover or Metrorail (with its connection to the Miami International Airport and Tri-Rail), people have to travel to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station or Downtown.
5. South Brickell - Brickell
(From Skyline on Brickell)
Public transit score – 64
Brickell skyline as seen from the Rickenbacker Causeway. Photo credit: Daniel Christensen
The countdown to the more seriously well-connected parts of Greater Downtown and its neighboring districts begins with this residence-rich side of Brickell (south of SW 15th road). The only reason it ranks lower than its business-rich side below (Central Brickell) is that it is not directly serviced by the Metromover or Metrorail. Nonetheless, it still has the Miami Trolley running along Brickell Avenue with connections to Coconut Grove, Coral Way, Flagami, Little Havana, Dodge Island, Allapattah, Downtown, Wynwood and Little Haiti.
The Metrobus offers access to Northside, the Metromover’s Brickell loop with connection to the Brightline, and Metrorail with its connection to the Tri-Rail (green line) and Miami International Airport (orange line).
4. Margaret Pace Park – Edgewater
(From 1800 Club)
Public transit score – 79
This southern wedge of Edgewater boasts of convenient public transportation options. (We’ve considered everything south of NE 23rd street to NE 17th Street east of Biscayne Blvd as the Margaret Pace Park neighborhood of Edgewater.) First off, it has multiple stops and connections from the Miami Trolley, which make the commute easier to Little Haiti, Wynwood, Midtown, Overtown, Allapattah, Downtown, Dodge Island, Brickell Key, Coconut Grove, Coral Way, Little Havana and Flagami. The Metrobus gives access to Aventura, 163 Street Mall, Miami Gardens and more.
This part of Edgewater also benefits from being within walking distance to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover Station with its transfers to the Brickell and Downtown loops, the Brightline and Metrorail stations (for further connections to the Miami International Airport and Tri-rail).
(From Canvas Condo)
Public transit score – 82
Miami's Arts & Entertainment District. Photo credit: aedistrictmiami.com
This pint-sized neighborhood, with the Adrienne Arsht Center of Performing Arts and several other art and culture destinations, boasts of a high public transit score due to several reasons. Firstly, it is directly serviced by the Omni loop of the Metromover. This gives users easy access to the Downtown (inner loop) and Brickell loops, as well as transfers to the Brightline station and Metrorail station (for further access to the inter-county Tri-rail and Miami International Airport).
The Biscayne and Allapattah routes of the Miami Trolley overlap in this tiny district, providing connections to Dodge Island, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Way, Little Havana, Flagami, Overtown, Wynwood and all the way up to Little River. Residents easily catch the Metrobus to the likes of Aventura, Skylake Mall and 163 Street Mall (plus everything in between).
2. Central Brickell - Brickell
(From SLS Lux Brickell)
Public transit score – 98
This (mostly business) part of Brickell is a true rider’s paradise. (We’ve included everything north of SW 15th road in Central Brickell.) First of all, it features multiple stops along the Brickell loop of the Metromover that makes it super easy to navigate within town. This loop of the Metromover further provides connections to Downtown, the Omni loop or Adrienne Arsht Center, the Brightline, and even the Metrorail (for an easy commute to the inter-county Tri-rail or Miami International Airport).
Residents can catch the Metrobus to anywhere around town. Plus, commuters also find the Biscayne and Brickell routes of the Miami Trolley overlapping in this business district. The trolley provides access to Brickell Key, Coconut Grove, Coral Way, Little Havana, Flagami, Overtown, Downtown, Wynwood, Allapattah and Little River.
(From Loft Downtown I)
Public transit score – 100
American Airlines Arena (Downtown Miami) - Photo credit: Miamiandbeaches.com
Boasting of a world-class public transportation system and a melting pot of art, food and cultural destinations, Downtown scores a perfect ten in our study. Staying in Downtown, residents can find a connection to anywhere in Miami and actually realize their dream of living the car-free life. This also makes it No. 1 on our Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Miami report.
Downtown finds extensive connections via the Miami Trolley, going up to Wynwood, Overtown, Allapattah, Little Haiti, and down to Little Havana, Flagami, Coral Way, Brickell plus Coconut Grove. It is also intricately serviced by the Inner Loop of the Metromover, with transfers to the Brickell Loop, Omni Loop (up to the Adrienne Arsht Center), Brightline station and Metrorail station for further access to the Miami International Airport or inter-county Tri-rail. Multiple Metrobus stations provide access across to the beaches and much more.
Does the City of Miami have the best public transportation options?
Yes, absolutely! While Miami Beach only has the free trolley or Metrobus to take locals and tourists around, the mainland boasts of a whole variety of options. So, if you end up missing one, you can always catch the next or find a connection to anywhere in the city.
The best part about the public transportation system in Greater Downtown Miami and its neighboring districts is that it just doesn’t take you around town and the beaches, but also connects to the Tri-Rail and Brightline, making it easier to explore other parts of South Florida as well. A real bonus for daily commuters and tourists alike!